42miles and a boat load of technical issues :-(

For Sunday 21/4/13 I was determined to beat my 38.5 miles barrier by basically doing the same route and extending it.

During the week I’d fitted a new plastic spoke protector and felt quite confident I wasn’t going to suffer any issues which had also been the case in my previous 2 long rides.

I arranged to meet Carl (one of the participants in our C2C adventure) at the Cycle Hub to ride with me at 10. I was going to get there (4 miles) with my next door neighbour (Dawn) on her bike as she wanted to know the route(she would then return home retracing her steps).

We set off at 9-45 and by the time I arrived in the next street the chain came off but I couldn’t fathom why. This was going to become a familiar pattern until I  pinpointed what was causing the issue. By the time I reached the hub the chain had come off 7 times and some of the times it was getting jammed, either under the back mudgard or between the sidestand/crank and sometimes I couldn’t get at the split link as it was behind the chain guard – it was turning into a nightmare 😦

By the time I reached the cafe it was 11pm so it had taken 1hr 15mins to cover 4 miles – not good!! And Carl then told me he had to be back for lunch by 1 so we had a quick pot of tea and we were on our way. Sure enough the chain came off a couple more times and I asked Carl to lift the rear of the bike whilst I spun the wheel. It then became obvious. The freewheel on the bike has always been rubbish and wouldn’t do one revolution and it looked like it was pulling the derailleur forward and throwing the chain. Only one thing for it – no freewheeling at all – this was going to be hard – it was like riding a very heavy fixie 😦

Carl probably did 7 miles with me before having to turn around to head home for his lunch – I’ll make you ride harder next time!!

A video as proof of me riding the bike can be found here – thanks Carl for the footage

So I was on my own heading down towards Tynemouth and then along to the lighthouse. It was very odd having to brake downhills and having to still pedal – where’s the fun in that?

Once I reached the promenade at Whitley I could see the tide was in then the rain came so instead of doing the last mile to the lighthouse where there would be no shelter I opted to dive into the Rendezvous cafe on the front which I used to frequent as child with my parents . I remember them selling knickerbocker glorys (which I was never allowed) and there would be condensation streaming down the inside of the single glazed windows – NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!! I also got talking to some mods who were there on their restored Vespas. They seemed more interested in asking about the chopper and were stunned when I told them were I’d ridden from – not bad for an old bloke riding a kids bike made of scaffold tubes 🙂

Once the rain eased off I headed back without further incident and eventually back to the cycle hub  – there weren’t many cyclists out – I guess it was due t the inclement weather.

To add the little extra few miles I’d threatened I headed up to the Angel of the North because I had an idea of a photo (see below) I wanted to take.

Details of my journey can be found here

42 miles done!!!!!


Two Design Icons

Two Design Icons

On the positive side it forced me to make the following tweaks

  • I trimmed the sidestand retainer
  • I trimmed the very bottom of the rear guard
  • I added another split link which is now opposite the other  which means I will always be able to see one or the other
  • I have also taken the plunge and completely stripped the Sturmey Archer AW hub and cleaned/re-greased it improving the freeweeling dramatically. If you thought that would be easy, checkout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea6krXSs-lc


About barneybear69

'middle aged' cyclist from North East aiming to do the LEJOG in August 2011
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